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REVIEW: Provoked by Rebecca Zannetti

Dear Ms. Zannetti

I had high hopes for this book.  You are a new to me author and I was excited to dive into this series, even though I was starting with book 5.  I fully understood the world as was presented in the book as it is fairly simple.  Kane Kayrs and his family fight off the bad guys.

Provoked by Rebecca ZannettiThere are demons, shapeshifters and Kurjins.  Kurjins are essentially the vampires of legend – pasty bloodsuckers that fry in the sun. But Kane is from a line of vamps that don’t need much blood, aren’t endangered by the sun, and can stop a bullet with his chest but has a very human reaction to the old knees to the balls trick. Vamps must mate with females of a different species. The mating process increases the chromosome pairs until the mate is near immortal too. Immortal merely means hard to kill.  I thought it was interesting how the Kayrs’ vampires are stripped of any problematic vampire trait.  Instead, their enemies are the creepy undead. What the point was of even having them be some sort of vampires if their genotypes have nothing in common with the vampire of myth. Just make up a new species unless the intent is for the reader to impute all the sexiness of the vampires of literature. A literal example of having your cake and eating it too.

It wasn’t the light weight world building that was the most disappointing part of the book. Instead, it was the ridiculous, lust driven romance.  The story opens with Kane tracking down Amber Freebird, a woman who he senses is a demon slayer.  The Kayrs need her to free their captured brother.  Amber isn’t aware that she is a demon slayer. She is a peace loving, commune living, vegan eating hippie. (No, there are no stereotypes in this book. Not at all)

Kane goes to the bar where Amber works and hovers all night, frightening her.  He then essentially kidnaps her and starts mumbling about vampires and demons. He cold cocks two guys into unconsciousness with his fists. She is thinking of stabbing him with a pen and a moment later she ALLOWS him to stick his hands down her jeans and fondle her.

He peered down at her. “Amber?”

“Yes?”

“If you’re going to attack with whatever’s in your right hand, could you hurry it up? We need to get going.”

She started, her gaze slashing up to him. “How did you know?”

He shrugged. “What kind of a knife do you have?” Her cheeks pinkened, and she drew her hand forward.

“I have a pen.”

A blue ballpoint pen. He blinked twice, his gaze on the harmless tool.

Her flesh filled his hand and he squeezed, feeling her moan inside his mouth. The jeans were a hindrance. With a growl of impatience, he slid his palm beneath her waist- band and found silky smooth skin. No underwear—or she wore a thong. He slid his finger over. Yep. She was wearing a thong. Jesus, his head might blow off. As he kneaded her butt, awareness pressed in. She was cold. Or rather, her rear was cold.

He’s rounded third base and she doesn’t know his name, thinks he is a creep who stared at her too long at the bar? Amber, you are an idiot.  Are they both crazy? Am I supposed to be crazy? Frankly if I hadn’t committed to myself to review this book, I would have dropped it at that point, in the middle of chapter three.

But the lust driven ridiculousness is compounded by inconsistencies and general lameness of the story.  Kane calls Amber terms of endearment in Gaelic but curses in Latin. Why? Well, no reason is given but I think I’m supposed to attribute this to Kane’s intellectual stature. He’s the smart one of the Karys’ family. While a mortal blow to the sternum doesn’t cause him to even move,  a knee to the testicles causes him nausea from the pain. Why? Well, no reason is given for the disparity but I guess I’m supposed to believe that Kane’s got the sensitivity of a human in the genitals. After all, he’s one of those new fangled vampires.

Kane’s romancing leaves much to be desired as well.  A mated pair can share powers so Kane’s solution is to mate with Amber.  After all, he’s already stuck his hand down her pants and enjoyed her booty. It’s a logical step to tying oneself to a person for the rest of your immortal life.  The palm to bottom test is a well known arbiter of how compatible a couple is.  It’s a premium upgrade to OK Cupid. You scan your ass in and then it is matched to various suitors’ palms.

As for Amber, just once I’d like the human girl to be scared shitless and not wetting the gusset of her panties with arousal when she is kidnapped by a vampire, attacked by demons and seen a wolf shape shift into a human.  D

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

10 Comments

  1. pamelia
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:07:48

    I’ve read all the books in this series and I think this one is the weakest — disappointing since Kane was really interesting in previous books and I was dying to find out more about him.
    What drove me nutso in this one was Amber’s annoying crusade to promote the vegan lifestyle.

  2. Jane
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:15:54

    @pamelia: I couldn’t tell if that was supposed to be comic relief or serious propaganda. I choose the former just for my own peace of mind. Amber was a bit of a caricature for me.

  3. Carolyne
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:18:42

    I’ll admit that I always enjoy the D and DNF reviews–not that I’m without sympathy for the authors or their works, or want to see a book sink, but because it’s so instructional to see what just doesn’t work for one reviewer or another. And the Ds and DNFs do tend to bring out the best lines (“Are they both crazy? Am I supposed to be crazy?” “You scan your ass in and then it is matched to various suitors’ palms”–oh, so that’s where those dating sites have failed me in the past…).

    Does Kane become a vegan vampire? How exactly does that work?

  4. FullofGrace
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 12:56:35

    Is new fangled vampire supposed to be a pun, because I may have giggled when I read it. Also palm-bottom matchmaking sounds like the future of dating services to me. Can you imagine if it became socially acceptable to go around smacking random people in the ass? What I want to know is how compatibility is determined, does eharmony develop a special 76 point test for it? Is it all about how firm the ass is or does the strength of the smack come in to play as well and does this mating style leave people who like breasts out in the cold? And most importantly are we all behind the curve (ha!) and sports people have been using this system for years? Sorry I know that was a rambler but I have all sorts of hilarious visuals floating around in my head.

  5. cbackson
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 17:35:05

    Toooooo many “K”s! Make it stop!

  6. Ann Bruce
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 19:06:08

    A blue ballpoint pen. He blinked twice, his gaze on the harmless tool.

    In the right hands (say…Buffy’s), a ballpoint pen can be a very dangerous weapon. Just aim for the eyes or throat. Abdomen, back, or thighs can work too, but those areas are harder with a ballpoint pen.

  7. hapax
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 21:36:28

    The mating process increases the chromosome pairs until the mate is near immortal too.

    What.

    Did the author even know what any of those words mean?

  8. Ann Bruce
    Nov 12, 2012 @ 21:50:59

    @hapax: I get the feeling the author might’ve watched The Fifth Element and thought its explanation for why Leeloo is the perfect being is scientifically accurate.

    Or maybe she decided her readers wouldn’t notice the WTF!? science, much less care, and made up stuff.

  9. Rachel
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 11:16:12

    It’s a premium upgrade to OK Cupid. You scan your ass in and then it is matched to various suitors’ palms.

    I just laughed out loud at work! Thanks! :)

  10. Shelley
    Nov 13, 2012 @ 18:11:40

    I pretty much didn’t finish the first book, Fated, because it made my brain hurt. It opens with an extremely confusing action sequence including, but not limited to, a not-so-cute, precocious 4 year old, who by the way, is allowed to go to her room to retrieve a beloved toy which puts her out of sight of her mom and rescuer for several minutes. Seeing as the bad guys are on the verge of catching up to them, I didn’t think this was the best idea. Add to that the smoldering looks and sensual touches between hero and heroine within a few minutes of him bursting through her door, and it looks like you basically have a near copy of this book. I was honestly surprised when I pulled up the author on Amazon just now and realized how many books have been published in this series! I thought it was an awful start to a series.

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